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Dr. Deshini Moonesinghe named chief medical officer for Community Howard Regional Health

January 25, 2016—Community Howard Regional Health announced today that Deshini Moonesinghe, MD, FACP, has been named senior vice president and chief medical officer for the Howard Region.

Dr. Moonesinghe, a Community Physician Network provider, will be part of a dyad leadership arrangement, in partnership with Community Howard president Joe Hooper. Dr. Moonesinghe will work with Hooper, the Community Howard senior leadership team, the region’s employed and independent providers, and other clinicians across all product lines and sites of care in the region.

“Dr. Moonesinghe brings a wealth of talent and leadership skills to this role,” said Hooper. “Those skills, coupled with her commitment to our ‘patients-first’ approach, made her an ideal candidate to lead our medical staff. We are very pleased to welcome her to our senior leadership team.”

Dr. Moonesinghe has been serving as lead hospitalist at Community Howard Regional Health. She has been responsible for inpatient admission, diagnosis, treatment, and discharge, as well as patient and family education, and coordination of care management with subspecialties.

She has been employed at Community Howard since completing her internal medicine residency and has been instrumental in starting the hospitalist program in 2010. She also brought the Life’s Journey inpatient palliative care program to Community Howard.

Dr. Moonesinghe was named physician of the year at Community Howard in 2014.

“I have great respect for the medical staff and the caregivers that comprise the Howard Region, and I am extremely honored to assume this leadership role among them,” said Moonesinghe. “I have always been very invested in the well-being of this community and I humbly embrace the opportunity to lead our growing and compassionate provider group.”

Community Howard Regional Health partnering with City of Kokomo and Howard County on overdose outreach program

November 25, 2015—Community Howard Regional Health, together with officials from Howard County and City of Kokomo, announced on November 24th a joint effort to equip additional first responders with the drugs, devices and training needed to offer potentially life-saving treatment to opioid overdose victims.

“Operation Overcome” will see Community Howard donate the drug naloxone, nasal atomizers and bag valve masks to approximately 75 personnel within the Kokomo Police Department. Community Howard will donate the same assets to approximately 65 personnel affiliated with Howard County including the Sheriff’s Department, Howard County Criminal Justice Center and Adult Probation.

Naloxone, also known as Narcan, among other names, is a medication used to reverse the effects of opioids especially in overdose. EMS crews from Community Howard already carry and administer the drug.

“The importance of this collaboration between Community Howard, the City of Kokomo and Howard County cannot be overstated,” said Joe Hooper, president of Community Howard Regional Health. “Lives are at stake and we are all committed to doing what we can together to confront the issue of addiction in our community.”

Community Howard will train first responders on how to administer the naloxone intranasally, or within the nose, and will also instruct first responders on how to provide proper ventilation to an overdose victim through the use of a bag valve mask (BVM). The life-threatening effects of an opioid overdose include shallow, slowed or even arrested breathing.

“We appreciate Community Howard Regional Health’s partnership and their donation of both Narcan and training for the Kokomo Police Department,” said Kokomo Mayor Greg Goodnight. “As we have said for months, we must stop politicizing this issue and focus on how the community can form partnerships to help those struggling with opioid addiction.”

Training for City and County personnel began November 25. The newly-trained City and County first responders will began carrying overdose kits immediately upon completion of their training.

“The people of Howard County have a rightful expectation that we, as community leaders, will rise to meet whatever challenges come to our neighborhoods,” said Paul Wyman, president, Howard County Board of Commissioners. “I am proud of this collaborative effort and of our first responders who will bring these additional life-saving resources into our community.”

Community Howard Regional Health Cardiovascular Lab receives echocardiography reaccreditation from IAC

July 29, 2015—Community Howard Regional Health’s cardiovascular laboratory has earned an additional three-year term of accreditation in echocardiography from the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission (IAC).

Echocardiography is a diagnostic test that uses ultrasound waves to create an image of the heart muscle and diagnose cardiac problems.

The reaccreditation, specifically in the echocardiography areas of adult transthoracic and adult stress, means that the cardiovascular laboratory at Community Howard Regional Health has undergone a thorough review of its operational and technical components by a panel of experts. The IAC grants accreditation only to those facilities that are found to be providing quality patient care, in compliance with national standards through a comprehensive application process including detailed case study review.

“This is another notable achievement for our cardiovascular care team and is further reason to rely on Community Howard for your heart care,” said Joe Hooper, president of Community Howard Regional Health. “Community Howard is the only hospital in Kokomo that provides the full range of heart care locally, including the critical capability of opening a blocked artery without losing precious time during transport. Our team takes great pride in delivering that level of exceptional patient care.”

IAC accreditation is a “seal of approval” that patients can rely on as an indication that the facility has been carefully critiqued on all aspects of its operations considered relevant by medical experts in the field of echocardiography.

Early detection of life-threatening heart disorders and other diseases is possible through the use of echocardiography procedures performed within hospitals, outpatient centers and physicians’ offices.

Cardiovascular diseases are the No. 1 cause of death in the United States. On average, one American dies every 39 seconds of cardiovascular disease. The American Heart Association estimates that the direct and indirect cost for cardiovascular disease in the U.S. for 2010 was $503.2 billion.

Kristen Edwards named vice president of patient services/chief nurse executive of Community Howard Regional Health

June 30, 2015—Community Howard Regional Health announced today that Kristen Edwards, MBA, MSN, RN, CNML, has accepted the position of vice president of patient services/chief nurse executive, effective immediately. Edwards has worked in the role in an interim capacity since May 11. Edwards is a results-oriented nursing professional with 18 years of experience, all with Community Health Network.

“Kristen is a great addition to our leadership team at Community Howard and will further strengthen our commitment to delivering exceptional patient care,” said Joe Hooper, president and CEO of Community Howard Regional Health. “She has a wealth of experience with Community Health Network and will be a great leader for our nursing staff.”

Prior to coming to Community Howard, Edwards spent her career at Community Hospital East in a number of roles that progressed through the years. After beginning as a general staff nurse, she became clinical manager for the critical care and progressive care units before serving as nurse manager for the progressive care unit.

In 2011, Edwards rose to the director level and ultimately oversaw nursing teams in the areas of renal-oncology, orthopedic medical-surgical and neurological medical-surgical. She also oversaw med-surg therapies, transportation/lift team, and the Davita dialysis staff for the Indianapolis hospitals. She stayed in that role until transferring to Community Howard last month.

Edwards holds two master’s degrees from Anderson University – one in business administration and one in science in nursing. She also earned a bachelor’s degree in science with a distinction in nursing from Purdue University. Edwards is a member of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing, the Indiana Organization of Nurse Executives and the Society for Nursing Excellence.

Community Howard Cardiovascular Services earns reaccreditation from Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care as Chest Pain Center with Primary PCI

June 17, 2015—The Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care (SCPC) has once again designated Community Howard Regional Health Cardiovascular Services as an accredited Chest Pain Center with Primary Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI).

SCPC, which is an international not-for-profit organization committed to leading the fight to eliminate heart disease, awards accreditation to facilities who exceed standards and have achieved a higher level of expertise when dealing with patients who arrive with symptoms of a heart attack.

Community Howard Regional Health is the only Kokomo hospital to hold Chest Pain Center with Primary PCI accreditation.

“I am very proud of our entire team for achieving this well-deserved distinction from the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care,” said Joe Hooper, president and CEO of Community Howard Regional Health. “Our cardiovascular team is deeply committed to providing exceptional advanced care to our heart patients, and is proud to do so right here in Kokomo.”

PCI is a non-surgical procedure used to open a blocked coronary artery by feeding a deflated balloon or other device on a catheter through blood vessels until the blockage is reached. The recommended interval of time needed to complete the procedure, known as “door to balloon,” is recognized as 90 minutes by national associations. According to the most-recent data published by the American College of Cardiology, Community Howard Regional Health’s average door-to-balloon time stood at 67 minutes.

Community Howard Cardiovascular Services offers patients the full array of comprehensive and local heart care including diagnosis, intervention, surgery and rehabilitation.

Heart disease continues to rank as the number one cause of death worldwide.

Sheryl Gosnell named executive director of Community Howard Regional Health Surgical Services

June 11, 2015—Community Howard Regional Health announced today that Sheryl Gosnell, RN, MSN, has accepted the role of executive director of Surgical Services for Community Howard Regional Health.

As executive director, Gosnell is responsible for leadership of the operating rooms on the Community Howard campus including the hospital and the Community Surgery Center. Gosnell has led the Community Surgery Center for the past seven years and has worked in the role of interim executive director for Community Howard Surgical Services for the past year.

“Sheryl has shared her talents with Community Howard and its patients for many years and she is certainly deserving of this opportunity,” said Joe Hooper, president and CEO of Community Howard Regional Health. “She brings a wealth of experience to this role and will provide good leadership for our Surgical Services department.”

Gosnell brings more than 32 years of surgical experience to her new role including the last seven spent on the Community Howard campus. Gosnell began her career working as a certified surgical technologist before becoming a registered nurse and ultimately earning her master of science in nursing, with a certificate in informatics.

Gosnell has served in leadership roles in surgery for more than 15 years with experience in a variety of surgical settings.

Community Howard Regional Health offers inpatient medical-surgical and outpatient surgical services at its ambulatory surgery centers.

Community Howard Behavioral Health presents annual Freedom Awards

May 27, 2015—The Community Howard Behavioral Health Services advisory council held its annual dinner meeting May 18, during which it presented Freedom Awards to Howard County Sheriff Steve Rogers and three Behavioral Health Services employees.

Sheriff Rogers was recognized for his knowledge and compassion to advocate for those with mental illness. He and the Howard County Jail have worked with local mental health agencies to improve the plight of those in the criminal justice system who have received a mental health diagnosis.

Other 2015 Freedom Award recipients included Chris Diedrich, Leslie Douglass and Beth Dickerson. The trio of Community Howard professionals was recognized for their ongoing commitment to providing exceptional service to patients and families who find themselves in need of behavioral health care.

The Freedom Awards are presented annually to individuals who have contributed to the mission of Community Howard Behavioral Health, advanced the cause of behavioral health or aided those suffering from a mental illness.

Community Howard Behavioral Health Services is the official certified Community Mental Health Center, charged with the mission of serving those with serious mental illness, chronic addictions and emotional/behavioral disturbance for Clinton, Howard and Tipton Counties. Behavioral Health Services is accredited by the Joint Commission, the Indiana Department of Mental Health and Addictions and the Indiana Hospital Association.

Our awards

  • HealthGrades 2015 Treatment of Heart Attack Award
  • Top 10 Indiana Cardiology Hospitals
  • Accredited Chest Pain Center with PCI
  • HealthGrades 2013 Patient Safety Excellence Award

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